I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

About Me

As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Katana Photography is excited to announce our first ever Celebrating Survival contest!
Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katana Photography is welcoming all survivors from all forms of cancer to participate…

Weekly Photo

When I was looking to buy my wedding invitations (back in April), I found a lot of designers on Etsy. After narrowing it down to a couple different designs/companies, I contacted both for their pricing list. One was pretty significantly more expensive–almost $2 per invitation more. Which I think all…

Weekly Style

When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse…

Weekly Puppies

Last week, Sean and I had our morning coffee on the balcony and watched as the Enterprise shuttle was pulled down the Hudson on a tug boat. It’s on its way to the Intrepid and I can’t wait to see it up close at the museum!

Weekly Coffee

A Quick Explanation of Copyright

I get this question a lot from clients, other photographers, friends, parents, etc. Who owns the copyright?

And it’s a very touchy subject–because a lot of times, clients think that it’s a studio’s policy to not release a copyright or to retain it. In actuality–it’s not our choice. It’s the law…it’s just the way it is.

My understanding of the laws (which I’ll admit, even for ALL the research I’ve done, I still learn something new everyday) is that the person who creates the art, be it painter, sketch artist or photographer, owns the copyright. In copyright terms, it doesn’t matter that the photograph is of you–it matters that I am the one who took the photograph.

And it doesn’t quite work as easy as “releasing the copyright” to another person. The only time I’ve ever heard of that is in a work for hire situation in which case the pay is very, very high. However, there is an option to allow printing rights on images–this is what most photographers do. But it’s still not the same as releasing a copyright. With this license, you have the ability to print your own images, however you could not turn around and sell that image to Coca-Cola and make a profit off of the photographer’s work.

For this reason, be cautious of the photographer who is easily willing to “release the copyright” of all their images to you. It’s likely that if they’re doing this for little or no money, they probably don’t understand the business that they’re in very well. When I just began my business, I did allow printing rights for all the images, but I’ve quickly learned that you can’t earn a living that way. Like I said, I’ve been doing this for years and there’s still a lot that I don’t understand. I even WORKED in a licensing department at both a publishing house and a television studio and I still don’t have as firm a grasp as I’d like on copyright. It’s such a complicated system.

So, to sum up:

1) Copyright belongs to the photographer. The “release” of said copyright is not a single studio’s or photographer’s choice–it’s simply the law.

2) This copyright allows the photographer to use any and all images taken to be used on their websites and in advertising (but not necessarily sold, ie to stock agencies)

If I’m incorrect on any of these points, let me know! I’m constantly trying to learn and hopefully this helps us all have a clearer idea of the laws.

A Funny Turnout.

When I was in high school, I was VERY much an actress. Not just in the sense that I could fake a stomach ache to get out of tests (which I was quite skilled at, btw), but I was an actual actress. I was paid to act professionally and had some amazing roles back when I was a kid. I was in a few tv movies as small roles, cast in a WB pilot tv show (which never made it, obviously), several dinner theatre productions, yadayadayada.

So, naturally, in high school I wanted to take the theatre class that was offered. It was a pretty good class. We did fun shows, The Miracle Worker, Fame, Joseph…Dreamcoat, Steel Magnolias, etc.

When I was a sophomore, I got a really bad case of mono. I was unable to perform in a show and was out of school for the better part of a month. As I healed, the theatre class was supposed to be having an improv performance–which was supposedly half of our grade. Now, apparently with mono…the lymphnodes around your organs can swell and if you’re bumped, these organs can rupture. I don’t know how common this is, but both my parents are in the medical field and tend to know what they’re talking about. They fought tooth and nail with my theatre teacher that I shouldn’t be performing while still at risk for rupturing an organ. Even if the chances were small, it still wasn’t worth the risk. And I had a doctor’s note.

But my teacher was adamant. If I didn’t perform, I would fail. Or at least get a ‘C’. ME???? GET A C???? Are you kidding me? I NEVER got a C. I cried when I got a B+….so a C was out of the question. You know what would happen if I got a C in the cIass? It would drag my GPA for the year down. I’d end up not being able to bounce back, failing out of high school, never going to college and end up dying a homeless person with an AVERAGE GPA. Because that’s the way my mind works…one little problem evolves into THEENDOFTHEWORLDASWEKNOWIT.

That just could not happen. I dragged my sorry-looking, tired ass out of bed and performed that improv show.

I remember being kind of loopy on stage. I was on meds and so, so tired. I laughed at other people’s improv and overall was just kind of out of it. I think I got a C for the show…which combined with my A, averaged a B or the class for the year. I was so pissed that it brought down my entire GPA.

Moral of the story, after this whole mess, my parents refused to let me be a part of my school’s drama program after sophomore year. I was still performing professionally and locally, but no longer through the school. And my parents made it very clear to the principle the danger that my teacher put me in by forcing me to perform.

For the entire summer before going into my junior year, I was so angry with my parents. Theatre was my life. Theatre was where my friends were. I didn’t know my identity if it didn’t involve performance. And on top of that, I had to find ANOTHER extra-curricular activity to fill its place. What did I end up choosing?

Photography. It’s funny how things turn out. Without getting mono, being forced to perform, then being banished from theatre class (by my parents), I would have never discovered my love for this art form. I never would have known I had a knack for it. I never would have been in that class the day a representative from Savannah College of Art and Design came to give a speech. I never would have gone to that college, gotten a scholarship, met Sean or found that I had a passion for something other than theatre.

Maybe I never would have become a photographer, in general. And that’s a scary, scary thought.

So….thanks mom and dad. For being such hard asses and making me explore something creative outside of my comfort zone. It would have been very easy to have stayed in a class where the teacher’s took advantage of the students and didn’t show proper appreciation. But you pushed me to do more. To be better. And I owe my livelihood and income to it.

New Product Being Offered! {New York Portrait Photography}

I just ordered a few of these accordion book samples from the AMAZING ProDPI! They are honestly, the most amazing company ever. And as I mentioned before, they always send candy!!!

These accordion books are absolutely beautiful and a perfect gift for parents of the bride and groom, grandparents of the new baby…or just for yourself! They fit easily in a purse and are a beautiful way to show off your kid.

New Product Being Offered! {New York Portrait Photography}

New Product Being Offered! {New York Portrait Photography}

New Product Being Offered! {New York Portrait Photography}

New Product Being Offered! {New York Portrait Photography}

New Rain Boots

For the longest time, I had a hideous pair of rain boots. But I didn’t care because…well, I don’t care about much other than staying dry when it’s raining. But Sean made such a big deal about the UGLY BOOTS. Every time it rained, he would avoid being seen in public with me because I’d be wearing “those things.” They weren’t even categorized as boots–he would call them things. Like, they weren’t even worthy of being dubbed as boots by the man who wears hideous flannel EVERY SINGLE DAY. God forbid I have one item that doesn’t meet his lumberjack fashion standards. It’s almost like someone wearing Crocs critisizing the Prada shoes you’re wearing. It’s like…”Um, seriously?!?” (and now I’ve angered the Croc wearers)

So, finally after a few years, I sprung for new boots. Sleek, black rain boots. And I have to say…I don’t feel frumpy and gross now when it’s raining. For about a week I sat, staring out the window hoping for rain so I could wear these boots. And then I got my wish. And I got it again. And then it rained every single day last week, including Saturday when I had to shoot a wedding. And all I can say, is THANK GOD I had some rain boots that I could wear for work with dress pants. In this ONE CASE, maybe…just maybe…Sean was right.

The new boots:

New Rain Boots

The old boots:

New Rain Boots

Not Quite a Baker

Every time we visit Sean’s family, his mom makes zucchini bread. And it’s some of the most delicious bread I’ve ever had. It’s always so moist in the middle but carmelized on the outside and crust. And in the mornings, she takes it out and puts it on top of the coffee maker so that it heats up while coffee is brewing. HOW BRILLIANT IS THAT??

So, I had asked for the recipe. A while ago. And I just got around to baking my own loaf. And it tasted great–not AS great, but good enough to hit the spot. Only–I have this problem whenever I bake or cook anything. It comes out looking like crap. I don’t know if I just don’t have the correct cooking equipment or what–but seriously? Look at that…doesn’t that look like a big log of poop?

Not Quite a Baker

In fact, does anyone remember that movie: Three Men and a Baby II…the second movie where the mom is always trying to cook, but constantly screws it up? Yeah. THAT IS THE STORY OF MY LIFE.


I’m attempting to teach Luna about patience. And what better way to do that than with sunflower seeds…her most FAVORITE SNACK IN THE WORLD. By placing the seeds one by one her nose, I made her wait to eat the rest–only, I think this was better in theory than in execution. In actuality, I don’t think she or Red even realized they had sunflower seeds on their snouts. At least not until Luna jerked her head around, not only sending seeds flying in every direction…but also knocking the bag of seeds out of my hands. Sean tackled Red to the ground and I managed to get Luna in a headlock.

Sean: (breathless from holding the Red down) Maybe we should just let them eat the seeds when they fall?

Me: No. They…(gasp)…must…(cough)…learn…(wheeze)…PATIENCE!

Just then, Luna managed to headbutt me and I had no choice but to release her from the headlock. The dogs feasted on dozens of sunflower seeds and Sean and I were lost in a sea of slobber, tongues and sniffing. So much for patience.

I imagine this is what it must feel like to have children…that is, if your children are hairy, slobbery, hyperactive messes who don’t listen to a word you say. I suddenly feel the need to call my mom and apologize…




Busy, Busy, Busy

Busy, busy, busy…but that’s no excuse for the lack of posting I’ve been doing lately! I have photos from this past summer that I’ve been wanting to post, but just haven’t gotten to! So…here’s a smattering of what my summer consisted of!

The ever adorable Ryker (Isn’t that a badass name?? I love it!) -

Busy, Busy, Busy

The stunning & pregnant Sherri (whose daughter is named London…also an awesome name) -

Busy, Busy, Busy

The ridiculously handsome & hilarious AJ (sidebar: AJ was my senior prom date in high school ;0)

Busy, Busy, Busy

The happiest baby I’ve ever met, Ellie - (poor thing was sick, but you’d never know from the photos!)

Busy, Busy, Busy

My niece in her ECU cheerleader uniform & at her birthday party (by far, she is the hardest baby I’ve ever photographed) -

Busy, Busy, Busy

The beautiful & glamorous Kesha (she’s having twins and was on modified bedrest during this shoot!) -

Busy, Busy, Busy

And believe it or not…these are only a fraction of what kept me busy this summer! Hopefully, I’ll have post more photos from each session soon.

Poop–That’s right. POOP.

Poop--Thats right. POOP.

Let me start by saying that the only reason this post is in the weekly style section is because of the dress Adelynn is wearing in the photo. My mom made it and it is SO FREAKING CUTE that it had to be highlighted. Let’s take a moment to ooooh and aaaaah.

Ok, so now onto the story–

A couple of weeks ago I visited home for my sister’s 30th birthday where I got to spend some quality time with my adorable niece. I mean seriously…have you seen the smile? It melts my heart. That is, when my ears aren’t bleeding from her screaming. She’s not so good with the word “no.”

I was watching Adelynn for my sister (Bridget) so that she could shower and get dressed, blow-dry her hair and ultimately do all those things that those of us “childless” folk take for granted. Because apparently for my sister, getting a chance to put on makeup and do her hair is the equivalent to waking up next to Clive Owen drizzled in chocolate after someone wallpapered her house with 100 dollar bills. IT WAS THAT EXCITING!

So, my sweet sister looked lovely. And clean. And I’m sitting on the floor next to Adelynn when all of a sudden she gets a weird look on her face and starts staring at me. And I look back, wary, and say to her, “Addie, do you have to poop?” And she’s squatting and nodding, a pained expression on her face–which I think we can all empathize with.

I know Bridget is beginning to potty-train, but I’m a little lost in that department, so I figured I’d just let her do her thing and I’d handle the diaper later. All of a sudden I see a stream of poop running down Adelynn’s leg, staining the nice white carpet and my poor niece starts screaming, “Poopie, Cayeen! Poopie!”. I pick her up and throw her down on the changing table. Bridget comes running in upon hearing those ominous poop-filled screams and she takes over my position as I was about to take the diaper off.

As my sister slides the diaper off of Adelynn’s legs, projectile poop comes flying into her face. I mean, this kid may as well have been throwing poop around the room. The stuff was everywhere by the time she was finished and all the while she’s crying, “Poopie, Mommy, poopie!”

After all the excitement was said and done, we all got cleaned up; scrubbed the rug, the changing table, showered, changed our clothes again. And just as my sister and I flopped ourselves down onto the couch, Bridget’s husband, Adam walked through the door. Adelynn ran to him and he picked her up, asking: “Adelynn, what did you get Mommy for her birthday?”

She smiled coyly and pointed to both of us and simply answered: “Poopie.”

She sure did.

Until Proven

Until Proven

Is it me…or does this look like a guilty face?

Central Park Elopement Ceremony

Central Park Elopement Ceremony

Melissa and Brent decided to elope in Strawberry Fields a few weeks ago. They were married by this really sweet woman (I believe her name was Beth) from Corliss Lamont. She is an officiant for “humanist weddings” and she was so lovely. I couldn’t hear all of her speech because I was moving around so much, but the parts I heard were really genuine and beautiful. You can find her at

Melissa and Brent had a really intimate ceremony, just them, Beth and myself as the photographer and witness. But after they kissed and were proclaimed as Mr. and Mrs. Peterson, we all noticed that a huge crowd had gathered and was surrounding Melissa and Brent from across the lake…and they all started clapping. It was straight out of a romantic movie!